NASA monitors a building-sized asteroid crossing the Earth’s orbit

NASA monitors a building-sized asteroid crossing the Earth's orbit

NASA detected an asteroid potentially approaching the Earth’s location. The said asteroid comes as big as a 100-foot tall building.

NASA reported that it is currently monitoring an asteroid that could pass by the Earth’s location any moment now. The agency called named the space rock as 2020 JP2.

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) handles the monitoring for the approaching asteroid. The center currently keeps details on the observed 2020 JP2 progress.

Details on 2020 JP2 asteroid

Researchers from the center describe the approaching asteroid to be 102 feet in diameter. The center safely described 2020 JP2 as an asteroid as big as a building.

The researchers added that the asteroid travels the Solar System with a speed of 19,000 miles per hour. It is traveling through a specific track of orbit around the solar system.

Upon their study, the NASA CNEOS developed a diagram showing details about how the 2020 JP2 moves across the Solar System. Based on the diagram that the center created, the asteroid is traveling across an orbit that occupies a wide space within the Solar System.

The orbit that the asteroid moves across reaches as far as Mars’ location. 2020 JP2 orbit also brings the asteroid to the plane where Jupiter is located.

As the asteroid continues to travel along its orbit, it also crosses the path of the Earth. That is exactly what NASA currently monitors as based on its track, this time 2020 JP2 crosses the planet’s trajectory.

Asteroid crossing Earth’s orbit not a risk

However, NASA assured the public that the potential crossing of 2020 JP2 does not pose a serious risk. The agency stated that should the asteroid crosses the Earth; it will not reach the planet’s ground.

The asteroid could burn up upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The space rock is expected to explode mid-air and will not reach the planet’s ground.

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NASA also said that the 2020 JP2 is not big enough to create a damaging impact on the Earth. Yet the agency assured that based on the asteroid’s track, it has no chance to collide with the planet.

NASA stated that the 2020 JP2 will cross the Earth’s orbit but at 2.8 million miles distance. That is equivalent to 0.02969 astronomical units.

NASA did not release any update on the asteroid’s track. 2020 JP2 was expected to pass by the Earth’s trajectory yesterday. 2020 JP2 is likely to pass by the Earth’s path again on April 21, 2196. It will go at a 26 million miles distance which is equal to 0.28194 astronomical units.

Image courtesy of urikyo33/Pixabay

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